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Publication numberUS3046055 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 24, 1962
Filing dateFeb 19, 1960
Priority dateFeb 19, 1960
Also published asDE1404612A1
Publication numberUS 3046055 A, US 3046055A, US-A-3046055, US3046055 A, US3046055A
InventorsJack E Martens
Original AssigneeAnderson Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Position-adjusting mechanism
US 3046055 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 24, 1962 J. E MARTENS 3,046,055

POSITION-ADJUSTING MECHANISM Filed Feb. 19, 1960 53 r 87 JNVENTOR.

R W5; 88 JACK 5 H 4 BY as if w 2 W ATTORNEY United States Patent Ofilice Patented July 24, 1962 Shil lddlSS PUSTiTiiEN-ADJUSTHQG WHANEM .iack E. Martens, Gary, ind, assignor to The Anderson (Jompany, a corporation of Indiana Filed Feb. 19, 1960, Ser. No. 9,813 Ji l- (Ilaims. (Cl. 25 7-361) This invention relates to a position-adjusting mechanism, and more particularly is directed to a linear extensible holding mechanism, or adjuster having a movement-controlling device.

Currently many different linear adjusters or actuators are available on the market or have been disclosed in publications. There are many problems in connection with the use of these actuators, but for simplicity some of the problems can best be illustrated with respect to a seat adjuster for controlling the position of a back rest relative to the bottom or seat portion of the seat. Certain seats in use today employ hydraulic actuators for adjusting the back rest whereby a button is depressed to permit the back rest of the seat to be moved backward or forward within predetermined limits. However, in the event the actuator has suffered damage or in the event the ball check valve in the system becomes stuck, control is lost on the back rest of the seat and any pressure on the back rest will cause the back rest to gradually creep to a reclining position. Another system currently in use as a seat adjuster employs a spring and a ratchet arrangement such that for each increment of back adjustment an actuating lever is released and reset. The back rest moves in predetermined angular increments which may Or may not be comfortable to the individual using the seat.

Position holding devices, commonly called actuators, currently in use become substantially unusable when certain elements malfunction or become damaged since the output of the actuator then fails to remain in an adjusted position. Said actuators likewise creep under heavy loads, which is objectionable. Certain of said prior actuators are operative only at predetermined increments of travel and some require that a lever be actuated to permit movement of parts of the actuator under normal conditions in either direction.

My improved actuator hereinafter described is adapted to positively prevent movement in one direction while permitting movement in the other direction when the motionarresting means is operative. The actuator is readily adjustable in either direction when the motion-arresting means is moved to the inoperative position.

It is, therefore, a principal object of this invention to provide an improved actuator having the just-enumerated advantageous features and overcoming the above-noted disadvantages of the prior art.

it is an object of this invention to provide an improved actuator that remains in the adjusted position.

It is another object of this invention to provide an improved actuator that is adjustable in one direction Without restorting to movement of an actuating or arresting mechanism.

it is a still further object of this invention to provide an improved actuator that can be readily adjusted a variable amount in either direction upon release of an arresting mechanism.

Another object of this invention is to provide an improved actuator having means for looking or arresting the system in one direction of operation in such a way that loads on the output tend to increase the locking force of said means.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide an improved actuator having means for urging the actuator into its extended position upon release of the arresting mechanism.

Still another object of this invention is to provide an improved actuator that is inexpensive to manufacture, highly efficient in use, relatively easy and inexpensive to maintain, and of a relatively long serviceable life.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent after the description hereinafter set forth is considered in conjunction with the drawing annexed hereto.

In the drawing:

FIGURE 1 is an elevational view partly in section of a seat having an actuator mechanism according to my invention;

FIGURE 2 is a partial top view of the actuator mechanism of FIGURE 1 showing its connection with respect to certain operating parts of the seat;

FIGURE 3 is a cross-sectional view of the actuator mechanism taken along the lines 3-3 of FIGURE 2;

FEGURE 4 is a partial cross-sectional view similar to FIGURE 3 only with parts thereof in another operative position; and

FEGURE 5 is a partially broken away view of a typical nut arrangement showing its association wtih the threads of the screw member.

Referring to the drawings wherein similar reference numerals refer to similar parts throughout the several views, an adjustable-type seat is designated by the numeral 1d and is comprised of a bottom or seat portion 11 and a back rest portion 1.2. The seat portion is provided with a cushion 13, a support frame and trim plate 14, and a tubular frame 15. The frame 15 substantially surrounds the periphery of the seat along the lower inner edge portion thereof. Generally, the tubular portion 15 is either rigidly mounted to the fioor of the vehicle or mounted to an adjusting mechanism for up, down, back and/or forth movement of the seat. A generally triangularly shaped plate 16 is rigidly fastened to the tubular frame 15 at opposite back corners of the seat so that the respective upper legs of the plates have apertures 17 through which a pivot pin 18 is passed into engaging relationship with a supporting plate 20 carried by the tubular frame 21 of the back rest 12 of the seat. The back rest 12 is adapted to pivot about the axis of the pin 18 from an upright position, such as shown in solid lines in FIGURE \l, to a reclining position, such as shown by the dottedline position of FIGURE 1. The back rest 12 has a tubular portion 22 extending across the lower portion of the back rest between the respective plates 24} for stabilizing the back rest to which is mounted a depending bifurcated bracket 24 having aligned apertures 25 through which is passed a pivot pin 27.

The actuator 35, forming the subject matter of the instant invention, is adapted to be connected at one end to said bracket 24 by the pivot pin 27 and at the other end to a bracket 2? carried by the tubular frame 15 of the seat bottom 11. The present actuator is shown in connection with the above-described seat 1%] for illustration purposes only. it is believed to be obvious that the actuator has multiple uses in many different devices outside the seat adjuster or actuator field and it is not intended that the present disclosure with respect to the seat It should be restrictive of the scope of the disclosure relative to the actuator.

The actuator is comprised of an elongate tubular member 37 having a bracket means 38 held by a pin 39 in one end portion thereof and having a nut member 4t held by the plugs or pins 41 in the other end portion thereof. The bracket means 38 has an aperture through an outer end portion thereof, through which aperture the pin 27 from the supporting bracket 24 passes such that the actuator 35 is free to pivot in a plane perpendicular to the axis of the pin 27, but is not free to rotate about the longitudinal axis of said tubular element 37. A screw member 42 has threads 43 on one end portion which extends into the tubular member 37 through the nut 43. The end 44 of the threaded portion 45 of the screw member 42 is tapered so as to provide a bearing point or surface 45 at the outer end thereof. A force-transmitting plate 46 has a .transverse concentric flange 47 slidably disposed in the tubular member 37 with a cone-shaped central portion 48 for coacting with said bearing surface 45. A relatively strong compression spring 49 is disposed within the tubular element 37 and bears against said hearing plate 46 and the inner surface of the bracket member 38 so as to urge the bearing plate 46 and screw member 42 in a direction away from the bracket means 38.

v A bifurcated support member is axially aligned with the tubular member 37 and is pivotally supported on the bracket 29 carried by the tubular frame 14 of the seat. The support 51 is free to pivot about the axis of an actuating rod 53, but is preventedfrom rotating about its longitudinal axis. The other end portion 54 of the screw 42 extends through an aperture 55 and projects into a hollow portion 57 of said support bracket 51. An inverted cupshaped member 58 telescopically encompasses part of the end portion 54 and is slidably disposed in the hollow portion 57 of the support. A ball bearing as is positioned between a tapered portion 61 of the cup-shaped member 53 and the end face 63 'of the screw 42. An undercut portion 65 is provided in the end portion 54 of the screw through which a pin 66 is passed from the cup member 58 so as to allow only limited movement of the screw 42 relative to the cup member 53 while permitting rotational movement therebetween.

A compression spring 68 is concentrically disposed about the end portion 54 of the screw 42 and bears against the inner face 69 of the hollow portion 57 of the support 51 and against the inner face 76 of the cup member 58 so as to urge the cup member and the associated screw member 42 in an axial direction away from the tubular element 37. The actuating rod 53 which extends between the parallel legs of the support 51 serves the dual function of not only pivotally mounting one end of the actuator 35, but also serves as an actuating rod for the arresting mechanism 71 of the actuator 35. The rod 53 has a cam-shaped portion 72 for bearing against the outer face of the cup member 58, which cam is comprised of a circular part 73 and a fiat part 74 on one side thereof. The rod 53 extends through a bearing bracket '75 to an exposed position'on the outside of the seat 1th. A handle or lever member 77 is pinned at 78 to the exposed end of said rod 53 such that movement of the handle 77 will rotate the rod 53 about its longitudinal axis. The spring 68 in the sup port bracket 51 urges the outer face of the cup member 58 against the cam-shaped portion 72 of the rod 53. Rotation of the rod 53 from the position shown in FIGURE 3 to the position shown in FIGURE 4 will move the cup member 53, depress the spring 68 and move the screw member 42 axially of the support bracket 51 for a purpose to be more fully described hereinafter.

A plurality of axially disposed serrations 86 are formed in one raised part of the end portion 54 of the screw 42 to which is mounted a brake disc 81 which extends radially outward from said screw 42. The disc 81 is keyed to the serrated portion fill of the screw 42 so as to rotate with and move axially with the screw 42. A friction pad 83 of a material having a high friction-producing characteristic is fastened to the face of the disc 81 on the side of the disc contiguous with the end face of the support 51. The pad 83 forms a braking surface between disc 81 and the end face 85 of the support so as to prevent relative rotation therebetween when urged together with sufficient pressure. A stop washer 87 is fastened to the screw 42 on the side of the disc 81 facing the threaded end of the screw. The nut member abuts the stop 87 in one extreme position of its travel relative to the screw 42.

The nut 40 can be any one of several Well-known types, but for the purpose of illustration is shown as comprising a pair of axially spaced-apart ring members 99 and $91 having oppositely facing raceways 93, 4 formed internally 42. A corrugated spring element 100 is positioned between juxtaposed faces of the ring members 90, 91 for urging said ring members away from each other in an axial direction so as to increase the operative engagement between the raceways 93, 94 and the bearing portions of the rollers 98. Pins 41 pass through apertures in the tubular member 37 and extend into openings in the contiguous faces of the rings 9% and 91 so as to stake the nut 40 to the tubular element 37 while permitting some limited degree of adjustment between the rings 90 and 91. Relative rotation between the nut member 40 and the screw member 42 moves one member axially relative to the other member. The one axial end face of the carrier 96 has a stop 102 shaped and oriented in such a way as to engage with a stop pin 193 carried by the end 44 of the screw 42 so as to limit movement of the nut and screw 42 relative to each other an excessive amount.

In operation on the seat of FIGURE 1 with the back rest 12 in a vertical position and with the rod 53 in the position of FIGURE 3, any clockwise pressure against the back rest 12 urges the screw 42 with the braking disc 81 against the end of the nonrotatable support 51 to thereby prevent any movement of the back rest in a clockwise direction. Rotation of the rod 53 by handle 77 to a position such as shown in FIGURE 4 will force the cup member 58 and screw 42 axially of the rod 53 against the force of the spring 68, so as to raise the brake disc 81 from the end 85 on the support 51 whereby any clockwise pressure on the back rest 12 urges the plate 46 of the tubular member 37 against the end of the screw 42 to thereby rotate the screw 42 about its axis. Rotation of the screw 42 relative to the nut 49 moves the tubular member 37 and the nut 40 along the axis of the screw 42 until the handle 77 is released or until the cage 96 of the nut 46 engages with the stop 87 on the shaft. The back rest 12 is now in the completely horizontal position.

With the brake 81 released the back rest 12 can be moved in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction between the limits of movement provided by the stop washer 87 or stop pin 1&3 on the screw 42. With the back rest in a reclining position, such as shown in dotted lines in FIGURE 1, it may be raised to the vertical position in either one of two different ways. First, even with the brake 81 in locking position such as shown in FIG- URE 3, the back rest can be raised or rotated in a counterclockwise direction without movement of the rod 53, that is, pressure on the seat back 12 in a counterclockwise direction will serve to lift the brake disc 81 from its contacting surface 85 on the support 51 thereby permitting the screw 42 to turn in the nut 40 as the seat is moved to the raised position. However, immediately upon releasing the counterclockwise force on the seat back 12 the spring 63 will re-engage the brake disc 81 with brake surface 85 and stop further movement of the seat back. The second way to raise the back rest 12 is to move the handle 77 to the cam position of FIGURE 4, whereupon the brake or arresting device 71 is released so that the spring 49 will urge the screw 42 into rotational movement through the nut 44 for moving the tubular element axially of the shaft to thereby move the back rest to the upright position.

From the foregoing, it is believed to be obvious that an actuator is provided with the desirable characteristics of preventing movement in one direction until an arresting mechanism is released and permitting movement in either direction when the arresting mechanism is inactivated. The mechanism also provides for movement of the output of the actuator in one direction without the application of external forces. The actuator mechanism likewise provides for movement in one direction even with the arresting mechanism normally engaged upon the application of an external force.

,Having thus described my invention, it is obvious that various modifications may be made in the same without departing from the spirit of the invention; and, therefore, I do not wish to be understood as limiting myself to the exact form, construction, arrangement and combination of parts herein shown and described.

I claim:

1. A mechanical position-holding device comprising an elongate tubular element having one end portion adapted to be operatively connected to an output member, support member aligned with said tubular element and adapted to be operatively connected to a member and held against rotation about its longitudinal axis, an elongate member extending into said tubular element and into said support member and rotatably mounted in the latter, an actuating rod rotatably mounted on said support member, means carried by said support member for urging one end of said support member into operative contact with an operative portion of the actuating rod, a nut carried by said tubular element and operatively engaging with a threaded portion of said elongate member, spring means in said tubular element for urging said elongate member toward said support member, brake means coacting with said elongate member and with said support member for preventing rotation of said elongate member relative to said support member whereby said output member is locked against movement toward said support member, and means for moving said actuating rod for disengaging the brake means whereby the elongate member is rotatable about its longitudinal axis as the tubular element and nut are moved axially of the elongate member in either direction.

2. A mechanical position-holding device comprising an elongate tubular element having one end portion pivotally connected to an output member against rotation about its longitudinal axis, a support member aligned with said tubular element and pivotally connected against rotation about its longitudinal axis, an elongate threaded member carried by said support member and extending into said tubular element, spring-urged means on said support member telescopically encompassing part of said threaded member, an actuating rod rotatably mounted on said support member and having a cam-shaped portion operatively engaging with said spring-urged means, a nut carried by said tubular element and operatively engaging with the threaded portion of said threaded member, spring means in said tubular element urging said threaded member toward said support member, brake means carried by said threaded member and coacting with said support member for preventing rotation of said threaded member relative to said support member whereby said output member is locked against movement toward said support member, and means for partially rotating said actuating rod for moving said threaded member in an axial direction to disengage the braking means whereby the threaded member is rotatable about its axis as the tubular element and nut are moved axially of the threaded member in either direction.

3. A mechanical position-holding device comprising an elongate tubular element having one end portion pivotally connected to an output member against rotation about its longitudinal axis, a support member aligned with said tubular element and pivotally connected against rotation about its longitudinal axis, an elongate member having one end portion threaded and having the other end portion unthreaded, the unthreaded portion extending into a hollow portion of the support member and rotatably mounted therein, a cup member telescopically encompassing part of said unthreaded portion and slidably nesting in said hollow portion of the support, an actuating rod rotatably mounted on said support member, the closed end of said cup member seating against a cam-shaped portion of said rotatable actuating rod, spring means encircling said unthreaded portion and being seated in compression between the inner wall of said cup member and the inner Wall of the hollow portion of the support for urging said closed end of said cup member against said cam-shaped portion of the actuating rod, a not carried by said tubular element and operatively engaging the threaded portion of said threaded member, spring means in said tubular element urging said threaded member toward said aligned support member, braking means carried by said threaded member and coacting with said support member for preventing rotation of said threaded member relative to said support member whereby said output member is locked against movement toward said support member, and means for partially rotating said actuating rod for moving said threaded member in an axial direction to disengage the braking means whereby the threaded member is rotatable about its axis as the tubular element and nut are moved axially of the threaded member in either direction.

4. A mechanical position-holding mechanism comprising an elongate tubular element having means at one end adapted to be fastened to a movable output member, a support member axially aligned with and spaced from said said tubular ele rent, an elongate threaded member extending into said tubular element and rotatably mounted in said support member, brake means coacting between said threaded member and said support member, means for urging said brake means into locking position so as to prevent relative rotation between the threaded member and the support member, brake-actuating means carried by said support member for releasing said brake means, and a nut fixedly carried by said tubular element and operatively engaging the threads on said threaded member whereby releasing said brake means permits movement of the output member in either direction.

5. A mechanical position-holding device comprising an elongate tubular element having bracket means fastened at one end thereof, a support member pivotally connected to a base against rotation about its longitudinal axis, an elongate threaded member extending from within said tubular element to within said support member and rotatably mounted in the latter, nut means fixedly carried by said tubular element and operatively engaging with the threads on said threaded member, spring means in said tubular element urging said threaded member toward said support member, brake means coacting between said threaded member and said support member for preventing rotation of said threaded member relative to said support member, spring means for locking said brake means in place, and means for releasing said brake means whereby the threaded member is rotatable about its axis as the tubular element and motion-transmitting means are moved axially of the threaded member in either direction.

6. A mechanical position-holding device comprising an elongate tubular element having bracket means fastened at one end thereof, a support member aligned with said tubular element and pivotally connected to a base, an elongate threaded member extending into said tubular element and having the other end portion extending into said support member and pivotally mounted therein, a nut fixedly fastened to said tubular element and operatively engaging with the threads on said threaded member, brake means coacting with said elongate threaded member and with said support member for preventing rotation of said threaded member relative to said support member, and means for actuating said brake means to release said threaded member for rotation whereby the threaded member is rotatable about its axis as the tubular element and nut are moved axially of the threaded member in either direction.

7. A mechanical position-holding device comprising an elongate tubular element having one end open and having bracket means fastened at the other end thereof,

furcated support member and extending into a hollow bore therein, a cup member telescopically encompassing part of said unthreaded end portion of the threaded member and slidably nesting in said hollow bore, a rotatable actuating rod having a cam-shaped portion bearing against the closed end of said cup member, spring means encircling said unthreaded end portion of the threaded member and being seated in compression between the inner Wall of said cup member and the inner wall of the hollow bore of the bifurcated support member for urging said closed end of said cup member against said cam-shaped a portion of the actuating rod, a motion-transmitting nut fastened in the open end of said tubular element and operatively engaging with the threads on said threaded member, spring means in said tubular element for urging said threaded member toward said open end of the tubular element, disc means keyed to the unthreaded end portion of said threaded member, braking means carried by said disc means and coacting with an appropriate surface on said bifurcated support for preventing rotation of said threaded member relative to said bifurcated support whereby said output member is locked against movement toward said actuating rod, and means for partially rotating said actuating rod for moving said threaded member in an axial direction to disengage the braking means whereby the threaded member is rotatable about its axis as the tubular element and nut are moved axially of the threaded member in eitherdirection.

8. In a seat-adjuster mechanism and in combination: an elongate extensible actuator member having a fixed nut and receiving a rotatable screw means for'controlling the axial movement of one end of said actuator relative to the other, brake means operatively engaging said screw means for preventing rotation of said screw means, and means for releasing said brake means so that said nut-andscrew means is manipulatable for adjusting one end of said actuator relative to the other upon the application of force in one direction of movement and under the action of a spring force in the other direction of movement.

9. In a seat-adjuster mechanism and in combination: a horizontally supported seat member, a back member pivotally connected to said seat member for movement between a substantially horizontal and a substantially vertical position, an elongate extensible actuator member fas tened at its one end to said back member and at its other end to aqfixed bracket, said actuator member having a fixed nut and a rotatable screw means operatively carried thereby, brake means operatively engaging said screw means for preventing rotation of said screw means and for preventing said back member from moving to the horizontal position from the vertical position, and means forreleasing said brake means so that said screw means is manipulatable for adjusting said back member between its opposite extreme positions.

10. In a seat-adjuster mechanism and in combination: a horizontally supported seat member, a generally vertically disposed back member connected to said seat member for pivotal movement about a pivot axis, an elongate ex tensible actuator member fastened at its one end to said back member at a location below and to the rearward side of said pivot axis and at its other end to a fixed bracket beneath smd seat member, said actuator member having a fixed nut and a rotatable screw means for controlling the movement of said back of the seat from a vertical position to a horizontal position, brake means operatively engaging said screw means for preventing Cil rotation of said screw means and for preventing said back member from moving to the horizontal position from the vertical position, and means for releasing saidbrake means so that said screw means is manipulatable for adjusting said back member upon the application of force in one direction of movement and under thei -action of a spring force in the other direction of movement. if

11. In a seat-adjuster mechanism having a horizontally supported seat member, a generally vertically disposed back member pivotally connected relative to said seat member, and means for controlling the movement of said back member, said means comprising an elongate extensible actuator member fastened at one end to said back member and fastened at its other end to a fixed bracket beneath said seat member, said actuator member having a fixed nut and a rotatable screw means for controlling said back member from a vertical position to a horizontal position, brake means operatively engaging said screw means for preventing rotation of said screw means and for preventing said back member from moving to the horizontal position from the vertical position, and means for releasing said brake means so that said screw means is rotatable and permits adjustment of said back member upon the application of force in one direction of movement and under the action of a spring force in the other direction of movement.

12. In a seat-adjuster mechanism and in combination: a horizontally supported seat member, a generally vertically disposed back member pivotally connected relative to said seat member an elongate extensible actuator member fastened at one end to said back member and fastened at its other end to a fixed bracket beneath said seat member, said actuator member comprising a tubular element and a support, a nut means fixedly carried by said tubular element, screw means rotatably carried by said support element and said nut, spring means in said tubular element urging said screw means through the nut means, brake means operatively engaging said screw means for preventing rotation of said screw means and for preventing said back member from moving to the horizontal position from the vertical position, and means for releasing said brake means so that said screw means is urged by said spring means through said nut means for moving said back member in one direction and permitting said back member to be moved in another direction upon the application of force in said other direction.

13. In a seat-adjuster mechanism and in combination: a horizontally supported seat member, a generally vertically disposed back member pivotally connected relative to said seat member, an elongate extensible actuator member fastened at one end to said back member and fastened at its other end to a fixed bracket beneath said seat member, said actuator member having a fixed nut and a rotatable screw means for controlling the movement of said back member from a vertical position to a horizontal position, spring means in said actuator adjacent said screw for urging said screw through said nut, brake means operatively engaging said screw means for preventing rotation of said screw means and for preventing said back member from moving to the horizontal position from the vertical position, and means for releasing said brake means so that said screw means permits said back member to be moved in one direction upon the application of force to said back member and permits said back member to be moved in another direction under the action of the spring force on the screw means.

14. An adjustable positioning device comprising in combination; an elongate tubular element having means for attachment to a relatively movable member, a support for attachment to another relatively movable member having a receiving portion axially aligned with and spaced from the tubular element, said tubular element and support member being mounted for nonrotation about their longitudinal axes, an elongate threaded member element in operative engagement with the threaded member, said threaded member having relatively steep threads whereby release of the braking surface permits axial force applied to the tubular element and support member to move said tubular element and said support member to another spaced-apart position, further manipulation of 10 the release means permitting the brake surfaces to return to a holding position, and a resilient means positioned between the tubular member and screw to normally urge the tubular member and support member to an axially disposed position when the brake surfaces are released.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,870,532 Schuetz Aug. 9, 1932 2,194,120 Haslup Mar. 19, 1940 2,208,561 Jungbauer July 23, 1940 2,579,305 Cushman Dec. 18, 1951 2,897,922 Canepa Aug. 4, 1959

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Classifications
U.S. Classification297/362.14, 188/196.00D, 248/354.3
International ClassificationA47C1/022, A47C17/16, B60N2/23, A47C17/00, A47C1/024
Cooperative ClassificationB60N2/233
European ClassificationB60N2/23S